President of the Indian National Congress (INC) Sonia Gandhi has written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi offering a five-point advice to tackle the crisis emanating from COVID-19. She immediately called for the scrapping of the Central Vista beautification and construction project.
The project said to be worth Rs 20,000 crores was termed ‘self indulgent’. She instead said that the MP’s can function from the existing Parliament House and this allocated sum can be diverted towards building the hospital infrastructure and equipping the front line health workers with Personal Protection Equipments (PPE).
Her other suggestions include:
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Complete stoppage of all media advertisements by the government except those related to COVID-19 advisories for a period of two years. The letter states that this can save the exchequer upto Rs 1250 crores.
Reduction of Union Government’s expenditure by 30% except those pertaining to salaries, pensions and other benefits. This would mean savings worth Rs 2.5 Lakh crores per year. She then advocates this amount be spent on the welfare of labourers, farmers and the MSME sector.
Foreign visits of all Ministers including the PM and bureaucrats to be completely halted. Emergency travel may be permitted with the approval of the PM.
Transfer of all money from the PM Cares Fund to the PM Relief Fund which will ensure more transparency and audit. She also said that it is pointless.
The President also welcomed the Cabinet’s decision to cut the salaries of all Ministers, PM and MP’s by 30% and said that the members of the Congress shall fully cooperate with the government in curbing the spread of this virus.